Is Google's AI-Powered Clips Camera A Scary Invasion Of Privacy Or The Best Thing Ever?

This camera does the work for you.

On Wednesday, Google introduced several new products, including Clips, an artificial-intelligence powered camera that automatically selects the “best shots” for you, after shooting constant hours of footage. You can even wear it.

“It’s a stand-alone camera. A new type of camera and insofar as that any digital camera has become an accessory to a computer or a phone, so too with this,” Clips product lead Juston Payne told Tech Crunch. “The reason for that comes back to the fact that the intelligence is built into the device to decide when to take these shots, which is really important because it gives users total control over it.”

The camera snaps images before sending the best ones for you, through its pre-trained algorithms. But could the AI machine, which is set up to constantly record you and those you're around, become an invasion of privacy? 

“We care very deeply about privacy and control and it was one of the hardest parts of the whole project,” Payne said. “The thing is that until really quite recently, you needed at least a desktop or you needed literally a server farm to take imagery in, run convolutional neural networks against them, do semantic analysis and then spit something out.”

The $249 camera eventually learns, through its user, what images you like. What do you think? Take our poll, below.

Writer Ben Popper from The Verge called the device “creepy” and “invasive.” He also called it perfect for parents, like himself.

“At least a half-dozen times every week, I reach into my pocket and pull out my smartphone in an attempt to take a photo or video of something my kids are doing. As a dad, I’m eager to capture those magic, fleeting moments when my two boys are playing, not fighting,” Popper wrote in his op ed. However, he said by the time he gets his camera or phone out, the photo op is often gone.

Popper acknowledged that the device could become invasive. But, he argued that the camera doesn’t share images to social media unless you specifically program it to do so.

[Photo: Google, Youtube]

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